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Letters from Irish Voice readers
Letters: 5 - 11 Nov 2008
November 5, 2008
Stop Blaming Bush
WHEN letter writer James Burke wrote in the October 15-21 issue he demonstrated his ignorance about how President George W. Bush is responsible for the fiscal and moral failure of the investment banking interests in this country.
It’s okay in an election year that one party try and disparage the other, but to transfer the failed policies of one party to belittle the second really takes gall. I don’t know whether Burke is ignorant, or advocates Hitler’s theory that if you tell a lie often and loud enough it will become fact.
The great unwashed in this country might be impressed with his rhetoric as they will swallow anything that sounds good. Anyone who doesn’t wear blinders would fertilize their flowerbeds with what Burke passes.
To blame Bush and the Republicans for the fiscal and moral morass this country finds itself in when the cause was actually fostered and promoted by the Clinton administration is laughable.
How is Burke going to blame Bush when his liberal heroes tax the rich into sunning themselves in Barbados as opposed to investing in America? How will you blame Bush when Obama begins his socialistic programs for redistributing the wealth of those who elected him?
What are you going to do when you don’t have Bush to kick around? How long will it take for the bloom to go off the rose when you back-benchers have to take responsibility for this country?
Don’t Vote Out of Guilt
I FEAR that in this presidential race religion has been used as a tool to get people to vote one way or the other.
Growing up in an Irish Catholic family going to church every week, I learned that abortion was against the teachings of the church. That tenant hasn’t changed.
What has changed is that after 2004 election, the Bishops’ Conference stated that in an election, if there was a candidate that you favored and wanted to vote for, but they supported abortion rights, you could vote for them as long as you were not voting for them because of their stance on abortion.
I know many Catholics who voted in this presidential election for a certain candidate because they feel they have to stay in the good graces with God and their priests. It is not enough for the Bishops Conference to come to this decision; it also needs to alert its congregation that they have the free will to choose an elected official based on all the facets of their platform, not just this one issue.
I am proud to be an Irish American raised in the Catholic Church in this country. But when I feel that the church is overstepping its authority refusing Communion to Senator Joe Biden and stating how people should vote I am ashamed.
This is not the church I love and not the way a new president should be decided. This country was founded on the doctrine of separation of church and state.
I truly hope that this section of the population allowed their rationality to lead them in their choice on November 4. I hope they chose the candidate they believe is best for the job, not the candidate that they were guilted into.
Terri Ann Glynn
New York, New York
Who Says I’m English?
LIKE Cormac MacConnell, the Irish Voice’s excellent West of Ireland correspondent, I enjoy a good controversy. It’s nice to know that some of what I write gets read occasionally.
But in last week’s issue your column, “Intelligencer,” in denouncing my comments on Irish America which were published in “An Irishman’s Diary,” in The Irish Times on October 24, really ought to get his facts right.
My cousin Ronnie Bunting, far from being a “Paisley acolyte,” was in fact OC of the Irish National Liberation Army in Belfast. He was the one who masterminded the assassination in 1979 of Airey Neave, the war hero and close friend of Margaret Thatcher’s, who was about to be appointed Northern Ireland secretary.
Ronnie was murdered by Loyalists and/or the British Army on October 15, 1980. I condemn his actions, but I visit his grave every year.
As for my being British, well that’s a matter of opinion. “Intelligencer” says I am; I say I’m not.
My first job as a journalist was with the then Cork Examiner in Cork. For a Northern Presbyterian this was a significant statement. Later I worked for The Irish Times in Belfast, Brussels and Dublin.
One of my sponsors when I took out an Irish passport in the 1970s was Garrett FitzGerald, then Irish minister for foreign affairs. My niece’s husband, Paddy Wallace, a graduate of UCD, plays rugby for Ireland.
My nephew, Nick Blackburne, is currently researching a television series on the Celts for which the script will be written by the novelist and documentary filmmaker Frank Delaney. My wife, Louisa McCabe, is Irish American. Her father, Bernard, brother of the late Dominican luminary Herbert McCabe, was a close friend of the poet Seamus Heaney, who taught me poetry at school.
My grandmother Hetty was from Beltra, Co. Sligo, and spoke with a strong western lilt all her life. Her mother spoke Irish. I still have relatives in Sligo and Mayo, as well as in Belfast.
The novel I recently finished, called The Sleeper (I’m sure you’ll wish it well, “Intelligencer”) has as its heroes an Irish Jesuit and his nephew, a soldier in the Irish Army.
The sub-title of my 2006 memoir, The Beginning of the End, was “The Crippling Disadvantages of a Happy Irish Childhood.”
Finally, as “Intelligencer” himself admits in his opening sentence, the piece he complains of was described at the top as “An Irishman’s Diary.” This should have been a clue.
I will add just one more thing. Many Irish Americans I have spoken to have complained vociferously about Sinn Fein sitting down in government with the Democratic Unionist Party. They may have supported the original talks, but they do not support the outcome.
I wonder how they felt about Sunday’s homecoming parade for the Royal Irish Regiment upon its return from duties, alongside its American allies, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Positively, I hope -– unlike Sinn Fein.
But good luck to the Irish Voice, which I shall continue to enjoy.
Is mise le meas.
Brooklyn, New York
Niall O’Dowd Responds:
There was a Ronnie Bunting who was an acolyte of Ian Paisley. Bizzarely Ronnie Bunting was his son.
Cut It, Cormac!
ENOUGH of Cormac MacConnell’s rantings about American politics, please! His defense last week about a previous vitriolic column he wrote about Sarah Palin was purely pathetic.
I don’t think she’s going to make it to the vice presidency, but I admire Palin and everything she’s done since the time she was chosen as Senator John McCain’s running mate.
She’s a reformist governor who has done great things during her tenure as head of Alaska, she’s a mother who clearly deeply loves her children and her husband, and she’s shown herself to be a true blue American every step of the way.
Yet that isn’t good enough for Cormac, the writers at Saturday Night Live and all the others lining up to take shots at her. What has she done to deserve such attacks?
Oh, she’s not a charter member of the Washington sewer that’s produced so many of our recent great “leaders.” She lives in “Redneckia,” all the way up in Alaska, so what could she possibly know, right Cormac?
I agree with all the other writers who say that Cormac should stick to what’s going on in his own neck of the woods, even though he feels he has a divine right to bitterly dissect one of our own.
Maureen A. Duggan
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